Friday, October 19, 2007

Now, The New Dog

Let's start with this fact: Merrick is draped across my lap while I type. Remember the snot-sodden four year old in the previous post? Poor guy!

We wouldn't have Scruffy at all if it weren't for a friend doing her own dog-shopping. Note, this family has taken its time, been particular. Impulsive lot that we are, Scruffy was the first dog we spotted!

My friend sang petfinder's on-line praises, so I went there with my hankering for a poodle. I grew up with poodles; they barely shed and they're friendly, smart (as dogs go), and malleable. I scrolled through all kinds of poodle mutt mixes and then saw Scruffy. There was something about that rat-like face, that Toto tuff of hair. I thought: that's our dog.

Reason wagged her finger. A decision like this should require more research, greater selection.
Plus, John was firmly opposed to anything remotely related to getting a new dog, including window shopping.

So I sent Stryker shopping. I swear this wasn't consciously subversive, but in retrospect, Freud might win this poker game.

At the time, Stryker was bored and kicking about for action. Since I am source of All Things, he was unrelenting: "Give me ideas! Something. I need something to DO." After even a few minutes of this (yes, my threshold is that low) I was ready to suggest a game of 'cross the street blindfolded.'

Three facts about Stryker. Fact one: he LOVES shopping. When we drive by Target, he rolls down the window, leans out and yells, "I love you Target!" I am not making that up. Fact two: He loves animals more than shopping--more on that later. Fact three: Thurston's death hit our 11 year old son, hard. Really hard. It took me a month to convince him that he didn't murder his dog. Again, more later. Oh, and Stryker loves screens of all sorts.

Dog shopping on-line was a miracle, a combination of pleasure too vast to comprehend. "You are THE best mother in the world!"

Successful multi-tasking is such a rush. I simultaneously launched myself in Best Motherland and handed off a time-consuming task. Why not let Stryker log the hours?

Well, hour. He races into the kitchen with pages of possibilities, all terrier mixes. There are 8 to show, but -- and he can barely contain himself--the best, the greatest, the most amazing dog he'll save for last. Our dog.

And yes, that dog was Scruffy. Half poodle, half terrier.

Now, John could not say no to just looking! We purposely left wallets at home so we wouldn't be impulsive. The foster family said Scruffy was perfect. Didn't shed, smart, malleable--plus, minimal barking. "He's amazingly mellow for a one year old. And he loves other dogs and children."

Scruffy sat mournfully on the stoop, watching us drive away. Scarlett cried.

All the lack of wallet really meant was an additional drive to Apple Valley to retrieve our pet. Hey, we managed to wait until the next day!

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